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Saturday, May 15, 2021

Ramadan 2021: Some essential fasting tips

Here are some essential tips to keep the body's energy levels up during the month-long Ramadan fast

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
April 14, 2021 12:30:18 pm
ramadan fasting, ramadan fasting tips, ramadan tips, iftar meal, sehri meal, indianexpress.com, diet tips, ramadan fasting health tips, pandemic ramadan, indianexpressHere's what to keep in mind when fasting. (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

The Holy month of Ramadan has officially begun in India (from April 14) and will continue for 30 days — till May 13. During this period, devotees observe day-long fasts or roza that require them to avoid food and water. Hence, it is only natural to feel tired and hungry by the evening meal for Iftar.

However, instead of straightaway opting for foods that might make you feel bloated, it is important to first replenish the lost liquids to prevent dehydration.

“The first meal after a long fast should be small and include foods that give instant electrolytes, fluid, and some sugar. This is why traditionally Iftar includes a lot of drinks, fruits, dates, etc. The best way to replace lost fluids and electrolytes is to break your fast with coconut water or salty lemon water with a small amount of quickly absorbed fruit sugar from two dates, prunes, dry figs or fresh fruit,” mentioned nutritionist Rashi Chowdhury in an Instagram post.

What is a perfect Sehri or pre-dawn meal?

According to lifestyle coach Luke Coutinho,

Foods that quench thirst such as cucumber, zucchini, buttermilk, curd, melon, banana

Complex carbohydrates to keep one feeling full and energetic including oats, jowar, ragi, sugar-free muesli, whole wheat

Proteins for repair and growth including egg, pulses, sattu and nuts

Good fats for satiety, vital functions, hormones and fat-soluble vitamins including cold-pressed oil of your choice, organic A2 ghee, avocado

What should you have when breaking the fast?

What can help?

Take a prayer break or a quick workout session before you have your bigger meal, said Chowdhury.

For your main meal or dinner, your plate should have 30 per cent clean carbs, 30 per cent good proteins, and 30 per cent of high fibre vegetables. Carbs could be sweet potato or rice or millets like jowar, bajra, amaranth. Get your proteins from meat, chicken, fish or daal (please soak the lentils for 12 hours before cooking), mentioned Chowdhury.

According to Coutinho, khichdi, a meal with a combination of dal and rice, pot meals, and well-cooked farm-fed chicken are dinner meals that are easy on the gut.

However, the key lies in portion control.

“It’s very important to watch your portion of fruits as you wouldn’t want to overdo it if you’re diabetic, have PCOS, insulin resistance or you’re trying to lose weight,” she mentioned.

What to avoid?

Avoid sugar, desserts and fruit juices that will raise your blood-sugar immediately. “This is going to mess up with your insulin levels, especially when you fast the next day, leaving you with cravings and low energy levels,” mentioned Chowdhury.

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